Carson City’s Pinion Hills development concerns aired |

Carson City’s Pinion Hills development concerns aired

About 50 residents of Carson City’s Pinion Hills area on Tuesday expressed concerns about the possible sale and development of vacant land near their homes.

Carson City staff and representatives from the Bureau of Land Management held an open house at the Community Center to collect feedback from residents about 14 parcels the BLM has identified for sale.

Most of the discussion focused on one issue.

“How many are concerned about water?” asked one of the residents, to which about half the attendees raised their hands.

“My well has dropped 12 feet, the flow has been reduced by half,” said Merlin Paine, a homeowner.

Kirby Nash said he was equally concerned about water quality.

“I’ve had my water tested a half dozen times and it always comes back the same. It’s technically potable but it’s recommended the homeowner not drink it,” said Nash, who said eight of the 14 parcels proposed for sale surround his property.

“Please document that and if you could share some of your water testing with us,” said Stephanie Hicks, real property manager, Public Works, who led the meeting for the city.

Hicks encouraged attendees to submit comments to her by Sept. 19. The comments will then go to the Board of Supervisors, which must decide whether to approve the sale.

The parcels are zoned single-family 1 acre and could be developed for residences and accessory uses such as farm structures or swimming pools.

Some of the of the parcels are two acres and could be divided into two lots as long as anything built there meets development standards.

Those standards include requirements for drainage, wells and septic tanks.

To drill a well, home builders would need both a permit from the state engineer’s office as well as a permit from the city, which requires certain setbacks between other wells and septic tanks.

“Due diligence has to be done on each parcel and it may be determined if it was not fit it could be sold to adjacent property owner for accessory uses,” said Hicks.

BLM was directed to dispose of some of its land by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009, which was designed to improve land management in Carson City in the aftermath of the Waterfall Fire.

The goal is to consolidate land ownership so the city, the BLM, the U.S. Forest Service and other public land holders own contiguously connected parcels so they can be more effectively managed.

The 14 Pinion Hills parcels were identified for sale because they form a checkerboard inside and next to land developed for homes.

“The BLM is not in the business of managing residential neighborhoods,” said Ann Bollinger, open space administrator, Parks, Recreation and Open Space.

The law required the land sales within a year, but the sale was postponed by city supervisors because of the recession.

Ninety-five percent of the proceeds from a sale go to Carson City to acquire environmentally-sensitive lands. The remaining 5 percent goes to Nevada’s general education fund.

The Board of Supervisors could consider the Pinion Hills sale at its Oct. 5 meeting, said Hicks.

If approved, the process would likely take up to two years, said a BLM representative.